Household activities to improve your child's maths skills

Parents will often employ a variety of methods to improve their child's key numeracy skills, such as extra tuition and maths-based games. These kinds of exercises will always be helpful, but there are also plenty of ordinary household activities that can act as fun learning opportunities for your children.

By getting your children involved in everyday household routines, parents can achieve multiple goals such as improving their child's understanding of numeracy, making them feel more involved with the domestic activities, boosting their self-confidence and increasing their sense of responsibility.

Here are a few household activities to improve your child's numeracy skills:

Doing the daily shopping
Reading food labels, comparing brands and prices, discussing nutrition information, budgeting and finding the best deals are all reasons to get your child involved with the weekly shopping routine. It is also likely to help them understand the value of money a little better than they currently do, something which will be of particular use in later life.

Cooking and baking
Cooking and baking are brilliant exercises to improve both their maths and literacy skills. Your children can read the instructions to you or the other way around, if you prefer. By following the instructions they will become familiar with quantities, fractions, temperatures and cooking times, among other things. They are also likely to feel a sense of satisfaction about being able to create food that the whole family can enjoy.

Understanding and paying bills
When the next monthly bills arrive, why not show your child how much things cost, explain to them about utility companies and get them involved with the household finances and budget. Aside from improving their maths skills, they will also begin to understand basic rules such as why it is important to turn the lights off when leaving a room.

Feeding pets
The number of times a pet should be fed each day will depend on the type and breed of animal. The volume of food may also vary depending on their weight. You could build both measuring skills and a sense of independence in your child by involving them in this task.

Keeping track of time
A schedule is important for any household to run smoothly and giving your child some of the responsibility for ensuring breakfast is eaten on time, coats are on before it is time to leave the house, stories are read in advance of bed time and baths are completed within the time available, will give your child extra motivation to understand and be aware of the time of day and the length of activities.

Sharing items equally between family members
There are many household tasks that require the equal sharing of items, such as placing cutlery on the dinner table, dividing pieces of fruit for desert, pairing socks and distributing pocket money. Why not have a helper give you a hand with these tasks?

Putting clothes and toys away
This may be a tedious task when done on your own, but perhaps you could involve the children in putting clothes and toys away with a game to quickly find a container the right shape and size for each item. They may need to count the puzzle pieces to ensure each piece is safely returned to the box, put the books in height order or find a shoe box big enough for the largest feet in the household. Your child could also time how long it takes to clear up the room and aim to beat that time each day, to add some healthy competition to the task!
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